About three weeks ago, Arthur learned to talk.
He has been saying words for ages, but he hasn’t been really talking. Words were singular and merely statements: ‘No’, ‘choo choo’, ‘woof woof’, ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘please’, ‘nose’ – but all of a sudden he twigged that they work better together and it’s like someone cast a magic spell.
It started with ‘Henry truck, where?’ and he never looked back – now he babbles away almost constantly. Asking questions (‘Where drink?’), telling you about things (‘baby leaf’), narrating everything he does (‘Nice walk!’) and demanding enough food to feed an elephant (‘More cake… pleeeeease!’)
It’s amazing to listen to him learn but even more amazing to see how it has changed him in his day to day behaviour. Being able to communicate has made him more confident – he’s happier to be away from Caius, Tori and I and with somebody else, he will go and chatter with another person whereas before he’d have stayed close.
He plays much better, both by himself and with his sister.
Alone, he babbles away to his toys shouting ‘CRASH’ when things collide, making them kiss and cuddle, saying hello and mumbling gibberish the entire time.
With Tori they work more as a team – before he would follow Tori around a bit bemusedly and not really join in, now they talk and share toys, argue (they always did this, but it’s more eloquent now instead of just one-sided shouting), interact and make up stories together.
I am sure Tori went through this tranformation as well but I don’t remember noticing it so much – she was always independent and she didn’t really have anyone near her age to play with and show off her new skills as they developed. With Arthur it has been a total transformation and yet another stark reminder that he’s really not a baby any more.